You can say a lot of things about the Russians, but you can never question their taste in the finer aspects of life. Whether we’re talking about music or the visual arts, their history is rich and undeniable. Now, we also have proof of their taste in cars as Mercedes-Benz turned out to be the best selling premium automaker in Russia for the first nine months of this year.
The total figures for the Russian market during the first three trimesters of 2014 add up to a total of 1,779,947 cars registered in this time-frame, comprising of both passenger cars and light utility vehicles. Unsurprisingly, the market is in recess dropping 13% as a consequence of the unfortunate developments in Ukraine.
Even though the market is contracting, Mercedes-Benz sales rose up by 14%, a feat only a few other brands (non-premium, apart from Lexus) managed to pull off. Another brand that saw a fantastic increase in their sales is smart, which went up 78.3 percents compared to the same period last year.
In terms of total units sold, Mercedes-Benz is ranked 14th with 42,050 units. The closest competitor is BMW with just 26.317 units sold, which places the Bavarian automaker on the 18th spot, followed shortly by Audi on the 19th with 25.724 units. Despite its growth, Lexus only ranks in on the 26th place with 13.823 units.
No premium model managed to reach the top 25 which is dominated by budget brands such as the local Lada, Dacia (sold as Renault in Russia), Chevrolet or even Skoda.
As for Europe, the fight for supremacy in the premium vehicles market is more tense than ever. Mercedes-Benz is on the rise here as well but it’s still lagging behind the other two big German brands – BMW and Audi. Of the three, BMW is the only one to drop in sales (-2.6%), while Mercedes-Benz and Audi both have better figures (up by 8.6% and 3.3%, respectively). Therefore, the gap between the three is extremely narrow, only a few hundred cars separating one from the others. BMW is still in lead with 66,785 units, next is Audi with 66,716 units and Mercedes-Benz is trailing with 66.502 units.
With the launch of the new S-Class coupe and the C-Class which only had a few months on the market, the race for the top spot by the end of the year is still open.